Tag:Tim Duncan
Posted on: February 19, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 1:25 pm
 

Tim Duncan: NBA All-Star elder, feeling young

San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan is the oldest member of the 2011 NBA's Western Conference All-Star team, but he's fighting back againsttim-duncan Father Time. Posted by Ben Golliver.

LOS ANGELES -- At 34 years old, San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan now officially stands as the old guard NBA All-Star, the senior member of the 2011 West’s team and the second oldest All-Star overall.

But if there was a year for Duncan to feel younger than his age this would be it. After getting bounced in the second round last year and the first round the year before, his Spurs entered the All-Star break with a league-best record of 46-10, all while Duncan has seen his role reduced to the point that he’s playing under thirty minutes for the first time in his career. 

That combination of winning and a lighter load had Duncan in a jovial mood on All-Star Friday, even as he sat one table over from Carmelo Anthony, his small, mostly local media contingent dwarfed by the media madhouse jockeying for the latest from the Denver's All-Star with the uncertain future. 

Casually dressed, Duncan surveyed the madness with a shake of the head, looking glad that he wasn't in the middle of it and a touch annoyed that he had been seated next to it. It didn't bother him for long, though, and he went back to fiddling with his iPhone like his 20-something teammates (“My wife is more important than you guys”) and played along when a reporter joked that he must have threatened to walk out on the rest of the season if Spurs coach Gregg Popovich didn’t name him as a replacement for Yao Ming in the West’s starting lineup on Sunday ("That got out?”).

You don’t play more than 1,000 career games and 170 career playoff games without developing a perspective that favors drama-free steadiness and experience, and Duncan settled back into that role quickly, repeatedly pointing to the importance of his team’s health and making it clear the Spurs are focused on making a title run in a crowded field of elders this year.

“A lot of the best teams in the league right now have an older core,” Duncan said. “If we’re healthy enough and we’re able to stay healthy I think we have a good chance to be a contender. We’ve been blessed enough to be healthy with our starting lineup, the core of our team, and it’s shown. We went through a bit of a rough one last year but we had a lot of the same core guys and that experience is paying off a bunch right now … I feel as healthy as I have been in 3, 4, 5 years.”

Given his reduced role, Duncan has averaged career-lows in points (13.4) and rebounds (9.2) this season. Despite the statistical decline, he made a convincing case that he can still reach top speed when necessary. “I do believe I can double-double any time. I can do 20-10 just about … well, not any time, but I can get those kinds of numbers on some nights. That’s not what I’m being asked to do right now. My role has changed, I’m kind of a different player. I’m working with what I’ve got.”

What Duncan’s got also includes experience going through an NBA labor negotiation, and he said he feels an obligation to the league’s younger players to get involved, although he wouldn’t commit to specific plans. “We went through the lockout when I was in my second year in the league. A lot of the older guys kind of stepped up and knew what it was about, and I want to make sure I can do that for the future generation of NBA players. Stepping up and doing my part in that respect.”

That stuff, it was clear, remains on his personal back burner for the moment, as he's focused on seeing through his team's best start in memory. “All we ever worry about are the chances right in front of us. We’re not worrying about the years in the future or the years past. This year, right in front us, we’re playing great. It’s the opportunity we have to focus on right now.”

And don’t for a second thing Duncan is totally resigned to Father Time just yet. He still feels like he’s got some time left before midnight.

“It’s been our ‘last chance’ for our last three, four or five years. That’s what everybody keeps telling us. I can’t say it’s our last chance, but it’s as good a chance as we’ve had in years.”

Posted on: February 19, 2011 1:30 am
Edited on: February 19, 2011 1:37 am
 

NBA All-Star Friday pics and quips

The 2011 NBA All-Star teams addressed the media on Friday. Here's a photo gallary and round up of the best quotes. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The 2011 NBA All-Stars met with a giant group of media members at the Marriott Hotel near Staples Center on Friday, in advance of Sunday's All-Star Game. Here's a photo gallery of the biggest names plus a round up of some of their best quotes.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James on his pick for the Slam Dunk contest: "(Griffin's) explosiveness is higher than mine's ever been," James said. As quoted by NBA Fanhouse.
lebron-james-asw

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant on calling Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh a "fake tough guy": "“I don’t regret it at all,” Durant told NBA.com. “I said it. I knew what I was doing. Nobody influenced me to say it. I knew what I was doing. At the same time, I’m not the type of person that lets emotions get to me. I was so upset about the loss. I wanted to win that game so bad."

kevin-durant-asw


Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin on receiving a bounce pass alley oop from Washington Wizards point guard John Wall: "…That [bounce] pass was crazy. I thought Steph Curry could have swiped at it. But I was glad he let it go." As quoted by the LA Times.

blake-griffin-asw


Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo: I'm not sure Rondo actually said anything during his media interview, as he had this same look on his face the entire time I watched him, even when the questions were in English. 

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Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh on taking a break this weekend from the fierce rivalry with the Boston Celtics: "You don’t want to be on edge all the time,” Bosh said. “You want to have time to relax. You don’t want to feel like you’re in competition with somebody every time you see them, especially when it’s supposed to be a break." As quoted by the Palm Beach Post.

chris-bosh-asw



Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen on entering the three-point competition against teammate Paul Pierce: “If you ask Paul, he’ll tell you that I won it was 10 years ago and everything’s changed,’’ said Allen. “(He’ll say that) I’m the dinosaur in the game, so I don’t stand a chance. I don’t know the formula now because he won last year. It’s just shooting. The formula is to settle in during the week and make sure you’re not too tired or overwhelmed or exhausted so when you get to that, your body is in a good place.’’ As quoted by PatriotLedger.com.

ray-allen-asw


Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard on what he would do during a lockout: "“I’ll be a pizza delivery man,” he said. “I think I’d be good at that job. Just call me and I’ll bring the pizzas to your house. Or the pool guy. Most people like pool guys.” As quoted by the L.A. Times and asked by The Basketball Jones.

dwight-howard-asw


San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan on his disappointment that his teammate Tony Parker was left off the All-Star team: "I wish Tony could be here. He deserves to be here, he’s had an excellent year so far. I think if he can grow a couple of inches the next couple of days, I’d trade [spots] with him."

tim-duncan
Posted on: February 17, 2011 11:29 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Derrick Rose makes a statement against Spurs

Derrick Rose takes over to beat Spurs with 42 points and 8 assists. What is it that makes him not only so good, but different from the other elite point guards?
Posted by Matt Moore

When Derrick Rose said that this game was a "statement" game, he apparently had more than one thing he wanted to make a statement about. 

"The Bulls are good enough to beat the Spurs." Check. 

"The Bulls are a legit Eastern Conference contender." Check.

"The Bulls will rise to the challenge when facing the great teams." Check.

"Derrick Rose is an MVP candidate." Check.

The Chicago Bulls have improved in a lot of ways this season, particularly defensively. They're a more complete team, have better perimeter scoring, better interior defense, a legit post presence in Carlos Boozer, and a better knowledge of how to execute in key situations. But Thursday night the biggest reason for their improvement was clear: Rose. Rose dropped 18-28 from the field, lobbed 8 assists, grabbed 5 rebounds and had but one turnover against the Spurs, a virtuoso performance which encapsulated his best attributes. 

There are so many great point guards in this league and everyone has their own favorite. Recently Royce Young argued that Chris Paul was still rule of the roost, but that Rose was on his way. However, tonight's performance served as an excellent example of what makes Rose so transcendent. He's blessed with a point guard's skills and a small forward's ability. His scoring ability is elite, there's no question of that now. Typcially this season, Rose's three-point shot has been on and his mid-range jumper has struggled. Against the Spurs it was the opposite, as he went 0-4 from the perimeter but nailed all but two of 13 jumpers inside the arc. That range forces the defense to step up, at which point, said defense is ruined, along with said defense's mother, face, and hope for the future. Rose showcased a floater that is as good as any player in the league, often off jump-stops or pump fakes, creating and-one opportunities. 

Rose's eight assists, though, don't come like Rajon Rondo's twisting, turning exploitations, or Chris Paul's seamless extensions of the offense like it was a part of him. Instead, Rose continually finds assists where there are seemingly none to be found. He is often credited with things described as "winning plays" and "big-time plays." In reality, this is a reflection of his ability to convert on low-percentage situations.  Against the Spurs, Rose swung passes over triple-teams from defenders trying to stop the gushing wound caused by Rose's dribble penetration. The result are wide open threes. Whereas Rondo and even Paul to an extent, create scoring opportunities with the threat of their passing ability, Rose creates passing abilities through the onslaught of his offensive repertoire. Essentially, he gouges you until you try and protect the wound, then he hurts you where you're revealed yourself. 

For the Spurs, it's a downer going into the All-Star break, especially because of the defensive implications. For a while Gregg Popovich has been harping on the defense, and in a situation against an amped opponent who was willing to work even on the last game before the vacation, they found those problems amplified. The Spurs are a fantastic team with just ten losses. But if they don't improve their defensive ability, it will all be for naught. 

And for Chicago? Luol Deng played great. Carlos Boozer was solid when he wasn't getting blocked by Tim Duncan, and the Bulls' wings did a nice job on Manu Ginobili. But the statement in reality is fairly simple. 

Derrick Rose hasn't just arrived. He's taking the next step, and that's what should leave the rest of the league petrified. 
Posted on: February 11, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 3:58 pm
 

Friday Roundtable: Death of the local hero

With accusations flying about Deron Williams' alleged and denied involvement in the resignation of Jerry Sloan, how much pressure is on Wiliams to stay in Utah? And is the prospect of his free agency depature the kind of thing driving the talk of a franchise tag? We discuss in this week's Eye on Basketball Friday Roundtable. 
Posted by Matt Moore







Matt Moore: Okay, so the big debate today is whether Deron Williams was the one who sunk Jerry Sloan. Some are saying it's absolutely the case, some are hardcore defending the Jazz' point guard, including Kobe. So I guess the question I'd start with is this...

Coach-Killer or not, does this put more pressure on Deron Williams to extend with the Jazz? To even be tangentially related to the departure of the longest tenured coach in the NBA and then ditch the squad? That's like LeBron to the fifth power. 


Royce Young: That's the catch in this thing that's messing with me. Yeah, maybe Deron Williams forced out Jerry Sloan. And if he was, he got his way. It seems like that would make this really hard to re-sign with them, you know, since he pushed out Jerry Sloan, the guy who'd been there as head coach for 23 seasons. 

At the same time, like you said Matt, if he doesn't, then he pushed out Sloan for no reason. He helped get rid of a Jazz legend and then said peace out a year later. Ouch. 

Fans forgive though, especially if you win. So if the Jazz win and Williams remains at a high level, they'll forgive and forget in the end. It's a players league and Williams is a franchise player. I would bet if you polled the fanbase and said, "Jerry Sloan re-signs, but Utah signs Williams to a three-year extension" the fans would take Williams.

But all of this only forgiven if he stays. And at this point, I'm wondering how happy he really is, especially if he feels like the villain in town. 


MM: What's it going to take for these guys, though? At what point do they realize that there aren't enough L.A.s and Bostons for all of them? I get the frustration with trying to build a winner in a small market. And I understand the drive to win a championship. But you'd think they'd want to win it the right way at some point. 

Additionally, am I the only one who feels like this bolsters the Owners' case for a franchise tag? If star players are going to try and run organizations and get what they want, then bolt, the owners have to have a mechanism to protect their investments, don't they?


Ben Golliver: The instant scapegoating of Deron Williams was a bit too lazy and forced yesterday. Given that both he and Sloan admitted there was a confrontation yesterday, confirming multiple reports from multiple sources, something went down and surely words were exchanged. Sloan is obviously a principled man and something was different this time around that forced him to take a stand and make a very, very difficult, life-changing decision. Do I think it was anything specific Williams said, or how he said it, or how he's been acting was the critical difference in leading to this decision by Sloan? No way. This guy's NBA career stretches six decades, he's seen every type of player, coach, writer that has ever come through this league, versions of guys that are extinct. He's had every player/coach fight you can have 100 times over. 

Saying Williams was the reason Sloan left is a discredit to the coach and to the man. That any player or person could get him to do what he didn't want to do seems like a slight and a slap in the face. If we know one thing about Sloan it's that he was an "I did it my way" guy. He's not going out any other way. 

Looking at Williams, it's big time trouble in the Salt Lake paradise. Sloan was the best thing the franchise had going for it, along with its high character standard and ethics. SLC is a small-market, out-of-the-way place that has avoided a lot of issues that cripple small-market teams thanks to the efficiency and productivity of Sloan's system and his unique ability to turn role players into solid pieces and to turn potential starts into All-Stars and Hall of Famers. With that gone, what's Williams' motivation for staying? He already knows his team cannot compete financially and keep the players he wants. LeBron James and company are proving that the grass really is greener. There is certainly room for him on another super-team. 

If and when he does leave, I think it will be worse than Sloan's resignation for him. I also think that the two situations will become conflated again when that happens, pushing him into Chris Bosh territory.


MM: Was Tim Duncan the last small-market-loyal superstar?


BG: Probably too early to answer that question, but it's a good question. The franchise tag issue will ultimately be the decider on that, I think. Loyalty isn't totally dead in the NBA -- look at Steve Nash in Phoenix, among others -- but think about how difficult the proposition of signing a franchise-changing player to two consecutive extensions really is for small-market teams. You've got to have a business model in place off the court, a deep roster of players on the court, the timing has to be exactly right with the other contracts to ensure he can develop chemistry, you have to have the right personality as both coach and GM, you have to take risks to support the player's whims in free agency occasionally and then you've got to pray all of that mattered to the guy, who is capable of walking across the street and getting significantly more famous and rich simply by virtue of his zip code and the state's tax code. That's a nightmare. 

When you think of it like that, a franchise tag makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?
Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Nuts and bolts




Posted by Matt Moore

In today's Friday 5 with KB: All-Star snubs, the upcoming CBA talks, and the league's policy on, ahem ... man-parts.

1. Interesting note from Donnie Walsh yesterday, mentioning that he's more concerned about the trade deadline, among other things, rather than his contract future. Your Post-Ups today cover Walsh's situation in detail, but it still begs the question: Do you think the Knicks are making a move before the deadline? (Shotout to Antonio on Twitter for the question.)

I think the chances are fairly high -- great than 90 percent -- that the Knicks make some sort of trade before the deadline. Not necessarily a Carmelo trade, although that's still possible, but some kind of trade to either give Amar'e some help in the front court, upgrade backup point guard, or replenish future draft picks that were lost in Walsh's monumental effort to get the Knicks under the cap and with roster and cap flexibility for the next two years. Walsh totally deserved the two-year contract extension Jim Dolan just gave him. Wait, what? Dolan hasn't even decided whether to exercise Walsh's option, which comes due April 30? Oh. Oh, that is really bad. Please refer to Post-Ups later in the day Friday for an explanation of Walsh's limbo and where the 'Bockers stand in trade talks.

2. Well, Ken, the coaches didn't heed your words. They took Tim Duncan over LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love. Was that the most egregious selection or was there another that bugged you more?

I felt really good about the rest of the picks -- both mine and the coaches', since other than Duncan they were the same. At the end of the day, it's hard to get too bent out of shape over an immortal player getting a lifetime achievement vote to the All-Star team. So I won't be mad about Love getting snubbed until the commissioner snubs him as Yao's injury replacement. Then I'll be mad at the commissioner. It would've been nice to find a spot for Aldridge, too, as well as Josh Smith. Those were the most deserving guys who didn't make it, in my estimation.

3. So the CBA talk is in two weeks at All-Star weekend. Some are predicting the apocalypse. Some are predicting a peaceful, productive meeting. We had a phalanx of All-Stars blow off the day of service to make a statement at the bargaining table last year. What do you think we're going to get this year?

Probably a lot of rhetoric, and a lame/tame bargaining session that will mostly be symbolic. Not a whole lot of actual negotiating and work will get done due to the nature of the weekend. It seems like time is running out, but actually there is still plenty of time left for the lawyers and number-crunchers to figure all of this out. So in terms of developments, I'd like to see a small concession or baby step forward by each side. For example, if David Stern says the owners won't lock the players out immediately on July 1 if there is reasonable expectation of an agreement, and if Billy Hunter says the players are willing to give up the mid-level exception, those would be small but important signs of good faith on both sides. If both sides remain absolutely entrenched in their positions, the All-Star bargaining session and accompanying news conferences will be a waste of time.

4. Tom Thibodeau's defense has been so superb this year. And he hasn't been at full strength outside of more than a few weeks. Are we overlooking Chicago penciling in Miami or Orlando for the Eastern Finals? 

Given Orlando's defensive struggles and identity crisis at the moment, I think it's fair to say that the Bulls shouldn't be overlooked as a candidate to upset Miami and meet the Celtics in the conference finals. Chicago has the two ingredients that could pull that off -- outstanding team defense, as you mentioned, and an outlandish talent in Derrick Rose, who is good enough to win a playoff series by himself. Having said that, I plan to be in Boston next Sunday for the Heat-Celtics, and I fully expect that to be a preview of the conference finals.

5. Kevin Garnett tapped a guy in the man parts. Eddie House intimated that he has sizable man parts. Kevin Garnett was neither fined, nor suspended. Eddie House was fined. Does the NBA need to re-examine its junk policy or am I completely nuts? 

I have not queried Stu Jackson about the, um, nuts and bolts of these decisions. But knowing how the league office views such things, I believe the distinction was that Garnett's actions came during the course of a basketball play -- defending a 3-point shot, however dirty those defensive tactics were. Garnett got ejected, and that punishment fit the crime. (Easy for me to say.) House's actions fell under the category of excessive celebration and unsportsmanlike conduct -- similar to barking at the opposing bench or standing over a fallen opponent and talking about his mama. So that's the difference.

Have a burning NBA question you need answered? Email us at cbssportsnba@gmail.com, or drop Ken a question for the Friday 5 on Twitter at@cbssportsnba . 
Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:57 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 3:02 am
 

The Game Changer: Magic don't have enough magic

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements that help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the previous night's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what led to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: MIAMI HANGS ON TIGHT

With six minutes left, Magic fans started filing out. The Heat led 90-70 and appeared to be on cruise control headed toward an easy but big divisional win over the Magic.

Orlando, being a good team, wasn't completely finished. Jason Richardson hit a shot. Ryan Anderson hit a 3. Gilbert Arenas hit a 3. Then Anderson another one. The Magic hit six long-balls in the last six minutes, finally cutting the Miami lead down to three.

And after the Heat failed to get the ball in with nine seconds left, the Magic somehow had an opportunity to tie the game. Anderson got another look from deep by was just long on it.

What's interesting about the set though was how open J.J. Redick was coming off a Dwight Howard screen. Have a look:



Hedo Turkoglu instead went out top to Anderson which wasn't a bad play, seeing how Anderson was open. The difference is that the ball had a long way to travel to get to Anderson, meaning the Heat defense had a chance to recover. If the ball goes to Redick, it's catch and shoot. Easy to pick nits now knowing it didn't work, but at the time, everyone saw Redick flash open.

It's easy to look at how the game almost blew up in Miami's face, but in the end, the Heat won a game against a good Magic squad. They did it with incredible defense for 42 minutes, crisp offensive execution and oh yeah, LeBron James is still freaking incredible.

He started the game 11-11 which tied a career best and finished the game with an NBA season-high 51 points on 17-25 shooting. Just for fun, he added in 11 rebounds and eight assists. He owned this game. Just completely dominated it in every way he could.

And he did it from the start. LeBron scored 29 in the first half and after Dwyane Wade left for a while following a hard fall, LeBron just continued to kill the Magic. It's nights like this where you truly fear the Heat. I mean, how do you stop that?

MCDYESS DICES LOS ANGLES AT THE BUZZER

It was obvious how important this game was to the Lakers from the tip. They've been answering a lot questions, their general manager is talking about making trades and Kobe Bryant is a little extra chippy. And they had the league's best team in town and played like they had something to prove.

Problem is, they had the San Antonio Spurs in town and they don't exactly go down easily.

The Lakers thought they had it won three different times. With Los Angeles up 88-87 with 22 seconds left, the Spurs ran a great set but Manu Ginobili missed an open 3. Rebound Spurs. Tony Parker had the ball at the top of the key, made a move left and rimmed out a tear drop runner. Again, the Lakers didn't secure the rebound and the ball went out, off yellow.

And the third time indeed was a charm for San Antonio. Tim Duncan caught the ball, didn't get the hand off to Parker and had to force up a falling jumper over the extended hand of Pau Gasol. The shot was long, catching back-iron except for a fourth time, the Lakers didn't get on the glass. Antonio McDyess beat Lamar Odom and tipped in the game-winner as time expired. 89-88, Spurs.

The game had every feel of a playoff classic with both teams fighting tooth and nail for 48 minutes. Every possession was a complete grind. Both teams shot under 43 percent. The Lakers were playing like the game meant something more. And of course the Spurs brought it.

Read the rest of how the Spurs topped the Lakers at the buzzer here.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

LeBron James had an NBA season-high 51 points on 17-25 shooting, grabbed 11 rebounds and had eight assists.

Dwight Howard had 17 points and 16 rebounds.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 15 points and 19 rebounds against Golden State.

Ersan Ilyasova
finished with 23 and 13.

Gary Neal'S BUZZER BEATER WAS COOL TOO

Antonio McDyess's big tip at the horn is getting all the love, but how about Gary Neal's buzzer-beater at the half? You know, without it, McDyess's play might not have meant as much. Think about that one.


PARTING THOUGHT

Don't overlook Golden State's 100-94 win over the Bucks. Two things this showed: 1) The Bucks truly are a horrible offensive team, only mustering 94 points against the Warriors and 2) Golden State is just good enough to stay interesting for the rest of this season.

With Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry and David Lee, the Warriors have the players to be in every game, but obviously aren't totally ready to be a playoff contender. It feels like they aren't really that far off though.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:35 am
 

McDyess and the Spurs finish the Lakers late

Posted by Royce Young



It was obvious how important this game was to the Lakers from the tip. They've been answering a lot questions, their general manager is talking about making trades and Kobe Bryant is a little extra chippy. And they had the league's best team in town and played like they had something to prove.

Problem is, they had the San Antonio Spurs in town and they don't exactly go down easily.

The Lakers thought they had it won three different times. With Los Angeles up 88-87 with 22 seconds left, the Spurs ran a great set but Manu Ginobili missed an open 3. Rebound Spurs. Tony Parker had the ball at the top of the key, made a move left and rimmed out a tear drop runner. Again, the Lakers didn't secure the rebound and the ball went out, off yellow.

And the third time indeed was a charm for San Antonio. Tim Duncan caught the ball, didn't get the hand off to Parker and had to force up a falling jumper over the extended hand of Pau Gasol. The shot was long, catching back-iron except for a fourth time, the Lakers didn't get on the glass. Antonio McDyess beat Lamar Odom and tipped in the game-winner as time expired. 89-88, Spurs.

The game had every feel of a playoff classic with both teams fighting tooth and nail for 48 minutes. Every possession was a complete grind. Both teams shot under 43 percent. The Lakers were playing like the game meant something more. And of course the Spurs brought it.

Tony Parker was terrific, leading all scorers with 21, Richard Jefferson had 18 on 7-12 shooting and Duncan and Manu did just enough to get it done. This is the way the Spurs do things. You look at the box score and spend 15 minutes wondering how in the heck they won the game. They understand better than anyone what it means to get a key stop, a key basket or a key rebound. They win. They've mastered it as well as anyone.

On the Laker side, Kobe Bryant didn't shoot the ball well (5-18) but to his credit, didn't force things late in the game when his team needs points every trip. He did a great job creating good shots for Odom and Gasol, drawing the defense and making the correct pass. Kobe finished with 10 assists to go with 16 points and nine rebounds. He didn't play great, but did enough to get his team a win.

Gasol who has taken some criticism lately, played hard and played well. He had 19 points (8-10 shooting) and seven rebounds. He was a little more involved and locked in than he's appeared the past couple weeks. He definitely played with fire, but obviously it wasn't enough to stop Duncan and the Spurs.

In the end, it was about getting one stop to seal it. Except the Lakers gave the Spurs four chances.

It's still only February and Phil Jackson has already said he's not panicking until the playoffs. But you could see it after the officials confirmed McDyess got his tip off in time. The Lakers looked devastated. Pau Gasol hung his head, Kobe quickly exited the floor and the rest of the team just looked deflated.

They put a little extra into this game. They wanted to beat the Spurs and prove how good they still are. Losing by one on a tip isn't reason to hang your head in shame, but the Lakers still feel like they're searching for something. I'm convinced there's no reason to worry for this team (yet), but Thursday's game isn't going to make them feel any better.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 7:02 pm
 

NBA All-Star Reserves: West and East rosters

A constantly updated list of the 2011 NBA All-Star reserves. Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.

As the NBA All-Star reserves are inevitably leaked in advance of the 7 p.m. ET announcement, we'll have updates for you. The full rosters have now been announced.

Update 7:00 p.m. EST: Yao Ming's Replacement

Finally, Yahoo! Sports also notes that Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash is the favorite to replace Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who is injured. 

Update 6:49 p.m. EST: Western Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Western Conference All-Star team as reserves: 

Update 6:45 p.m. EST: Eastern Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as reservers: 

Update 6:05 p.m. EST: Kevin Garnett

Like Gasol, we found that Garnett has a page built, along with previously leaked Rajon Rondo. 

Garnett will make it at least two Celtics reserves, with more on the way most likely. Garnett's been playing at a near MVP level with the impact he has on both sides of the floor. He's been his usual dominant, crazy self on defense, and his inside post moves have returned in addition to his mid-range jumper on the pick and pop. He's arguably the biggest reason the Celts have laid waste to the league this season. 

No other prospective reserves have such pages built, as of yet. These definitely don't confirm that they've been selected as All-Stars, but considering the three posted now are locks, they look pretty legit. We'll keep you posted. 

Update 6:01 p.m. EST: Pau Gasol


Someone is either running live screen tests or they jumped the gun. Hoopshype discovered that Pau Gasol has a page built for him as an All-Star. 

Gasol's a no-brainer, as he's arguably the best player on the Lakers, and that's saying something considering, you know, Kobe Bryant. Either way he's the biggest reason for the Lakers' past two championships outside Bryant, and is widely considered to be the best active big man in the game. Odds are good he might wind up replacing Yao Ming as a starter at center, despite his power forward designation.

Rajon Rondo


Yahoo! Sports reports that Rondo will be named an All-Star Reserve. The word you're looking for is ... "duh."  Rondo leads the league in assists per game and Assist Ratio (percentage of possessions ending in an assist). He's the starting point guard for the best team in the Eastern Conference and he does things like this:



Whether the Celtics send three or four , we all agreed, Rondo needs to go. He's the obvious choice. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com